What Is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a safe, proven and effective non-surgical procedure used for the removal of spider veins and smaller varicose veins. The procedure involves the injection of a sterile chemical sclerant directly into the affected veins, causing them to shrink and eventually fade away completely. Through healthy veins located deeper within the body, blood circulation is carried out, so the outward appearance and sometimes pain associated with the problem veins is significantly reduced.

In addition to offering obvious cosmetic results without scarring, sclerotherapy eliminates the aching burning, and discomfort often caused by varicose veins.

Who Are Good Candidates for Sclerotherapy?

Women of any age may be good candidates for sclerotherapy, but most fall between 30 and 60 years old. Sclerotherapy is just as effective for men but men who do have spider veins often don’t consider them to be a cosmetic problem because the veins are usually concealed by hair growth on the leg.

How Is a Sclerotherapy Performed?

Everything you need to know to prepare for scleroteraphy will be discussed during an initial consultation with your surgeon. The surgeon will assess your health and discuss a few options that may be available. This includes an ultrasound of the veins to evaluate the full extent of the problem causing the spider veins. The doctor’s goal is to find the largest vein, which is likely at the root of the problem. This larger vein must be treated before sclerotherapy is performed. If the vein causing the problems is not treated first, other spider veins will appear after the sclerotherapy is complete.

The total procedure takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the number of veins being treated. No sedation is required because there is not a significant amount of discomfort during this procedure. The doctor will make small injection of irritating solution into the vein, which causes the vein to close. The vein then disappears as it is absorbed by the body through the body’s natural healing mechanism.

Two or more sessions are usually required to achieve optimal results. After each sclerotherapy session, the veins will appear lighter. The procedure treats only those veins that are currently visible; it does nothing to permanently alter the venous system or prevent new veins from surfacing in the future.

How Long Do Sclerotherapy Results Last?

The results of sclerotherapy last for approximately two years if the whole spectrum of venous insufficiency is thoroughly reviewed and treated appropriately. After that, there may be some recurrence, but it usually is never as bad as the initially. The veins that may return also can be treated with sclerotherapy.

What Are Side Effects of Sclerotherapy?

When surgery is performed by a qualified surgeon, complications are rare and usually minor. Nevertheless, as with any procedures, there are potential complications and risks. Your consultation is Key. Your physician will spend time discussing these with you during your scheduled consultation. Be sure to bring a list of questions or concerns with you. All patients are instructed to discuss the general surgical risks with their surgeon.

A common cosmetic complication is an irregular coloring on the skin – that may take months to fade, sometimes up to a year. Another problem that can occur is fine, reddish blood vessels appearing around the treated area, which would require further injections.